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Letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army Department of the Army, Civil Works

Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., co-chair of the Senate Great Lakes Task Force, the five co-chairs of the House Great Lakes Task Force, and 26 of their House and Senate colleagues sent a letter to the civilian head of the Army Corps of Engineers today to highlight a new report, Restoring the Natural Divide, on ways to keep separate the waters of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins. Such measures could prevent the introduction of harmful aquatic invasive species including Asian carp into the Great Lakes.

In the bipartisan and bicameral letter to Jo-Ellen Darcy, Assistant Secretary of the Army, Civil Works, Levin and the others note that the report provides a trove of information that the Army Corps of Engineers can use in its own study on the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River Basin and the Chicago Area Waterway System. The members asked the secretary to let them know how the Corps will use the analysis in Restoring the Natural Divide to speed up its own report, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS).

The Great Lakes Task Forces' letter [PDF] follows.

THE NORTHEAST-MIDWEST SENATE & HOUSE COALITIONS

GREAT LAKES TASK FORCES

February 3, 2012

The Honorable Jo-Ellen Darcy
Assistant Secretary of the Army
Department of the Army, Civil Works
108 Army Pentagon
Washington, DC 20310-0108

Dear Secretary Darcy:

As Members of Congress who care deeply about the Great Lakes and the economic and environmental benefits this natural treasure provides, we want to call your attention to a report released on January 31, 2012 by the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative. This report, Restoring the Natural Divide, analyzes various engineering options to separate the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins in the Chicago Area Waterway System to prevent inter-basin movement of harmful aquatic invasive species including Asian carp.

The Army Corps of Engineers is conducting its own study, the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS), which is a comprehensive study of multiple aquatic pathways and control strategies, including hydrologic separation of the basins. The new report, Restoring the Natural Divide, provides the Corps with a large amount of information concerning engineering design, economic impacts, flood and stormwater management, and water quality impacts that should be of benefit to the Corps' analysis of hydrologic separation. We ask how the Corps will use the thorough analysis provided in this new report, and how the Corps will be able to shorten its timeframe for completing the GLMRIS by incorporating the new information contained in the report.

Thank you for your attention to this matter, and we look forward to your prompt reply.

Sincerely,

Carl Levin Candice S. Miller Louise M. Slaughter
U.S. Senator Member of Congress Member of Congress

Sean P. Duffy John D. Dingell
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Debbie Stabenow Sherrod Brown
U.S. Senator U.S. Senator

Kirsten E. Gillibrand Amy Klobuchar
U.S. Senator U.S. Senator

Charles E. Schumer Richard J. Durbin
U.S. Senator U.S. Senator

Sander M. Levin Brian Higgins
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Gwen Moore Marcy Kaptur
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Steven C. LaTourette Dale Kildee
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Dennis Kucinich Hansen Clarke
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Mike Rogers Dave Camp
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Bill Huizenga Tim Walberg
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Fred Upton Justin Amash
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Dan Benishek Mike Quigley
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ron Kind Mike Kelly
Member of Congress Member of Congress

Ann Marie Buerkle Kathleen C. Hochul
Member of Congress Member of Congress

cc: The Honorable Nancy Sutley, Chair, Council on Environmental Quality
Mr. John Goss, Asian Carp Director, Council on Environmental Quality


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